The COVID-19 pandemic forced many businesses and activities to a standstill. Gyms and fitness studios were among the businesses forced to shut down. As a result, many are to find other alternatives to stay active and maintain a healthy lifestyle.
Ahmad Oamarool Azeem Yusof, from Kampung Belimbing Dalam, Durian Tunggal in Melaka was a fitness coach at a major gym outlet. Looking at the impact of the unrelenting pandemic on the fitness industry during the Movement Control Order (MCO) period, he decided to quit the job and return to his village in 2020.
The twenty-seven-year-old man from Melaka, who has a well-built body, didn't let the gym's closure hamper his fitness activities routine. Instead, he continued to stay active from home by attending to the garden in their village.
"I returned to my village in Durian Tunggal, Melaka because I wanted to take care of my father, who isn't in good health," he said.
Azeem is the sixth of his eight siblings, and only his parents and his thirty-three-year-old brother, who has autism, live in the village. Due to his retired father's backache, no one has been able to tend to the overgrown garden. The two-acre land is behind his grandmother's house, about 2km from his parent's house.
Azeem now conducts his fitness coaching classes online with more time for gardening work.
It took him more than a month to clear up the garden, and he is sometimes accompanied by his father and brother.
"I clean the garden, cut the grass, cut down the trees, and lift away trees that have been cut down. Now I can grow a variety of plants. There are bananas, papaya, coconut, pineapple, durian, and vegetables. We are not selling them for now, but we donate to the mosque and the villagers," he said.
Azeem is a graduate of Development Management from Universiti Utara Malaysia (UUM), Kedah. He added that he plans on growing brinjal commercially, probably 100 trees to start with. At the same time, he wishes to develop an app that will help beginners with their workouts and further grow his online fitness and body management classes.
Today, his family garden is much like a second gym to him as he is still lifting weights while clearing the compound. Azeem shared that the lightest tree trunk that he has carried weighs about 20kg, like a dumbbell.
View this post on Instagram
"Our daily workout routine does not necessarily have to be at the gym; it can also be any outdoor activities. It is essential to exercise and remain active to increase our immunity during this pandemic."
"There are people who do not like to exercise, so their workout can be through movement. For example, gardening or cleaning the garden... gardening is no easy feat, it is very tiring."
Take it from the master himself! Let there be no excuse in taking care of our own physical and mental well-being. Unsafe to hit the gym? Any movements with house chores and gardening work too! It works just as well to help you stay fit and healthy!
News Source: mStar